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Separating Will from Grace: An Experiment on Conformity and Awareness in Cheating

Toke Fosgaard (), Lars Hansen () and Marco Piovesan ()
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Toke Fosgaard: Institute of Food and Resource Economics, University of Copenhagen

No 2012/15, IFRO Working Paper from University of Copenhagen, Department of Food and Resource Economics

Abstract: In this paper we investigate if people cheat more when they observe their peers cheating because they conform or because they become aware that cheating is something to actively consider. In our experiment subjects toss a coin in private and report the outcome (white or black). We reward only those who report white and leave them the possibility to cheat without being discovered. In our 2x2 experimental design, we manipulated subjects’ report sheet to i) suggest (or not) that cheating is an option; ii) suggest that their peers were honest (or dishonest). We find that increasing awareness of cheating as an option significantly increases the probability that women cheat; whereas men – who are already aware that cheating is an option - are not affected. When we suggest that peers have cheated, men cheat significantly more, whereas women do not.

Keywords: cheating; norms; conformity; awareness; gender differences (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D63 D81 K42 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 18 pages
Date: 2012-12
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cbe, nep-dem, nep-evo, nep-exp and nep-soc
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Citations: View citations in EconPapers (2) Track citations by RSS feed

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Journal Article: Separating Will from Grace: An experiment on conformity and awareness in cheating (2013) Downloads
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